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Buck Point GC – A Dye Course on a “PB” Budget

by   |   November 17, 2008

 

First off let me say that Buck Point is an excellent golf course for the money. Greens fees on a Saturday morning in September were less than $40 for 18 holes with cart. We wanted to walk, at the same price, but they would not allow us to be in harmony with the course.

That said, lets get to the peanut butter. Buck Point Golf Club is a PB Dye owned and designed course near Brookville Lake in Southeastern Indiana. The Dye family are legends in Indiana, bar none. Buck Point is approximately 45-50 minutes West of Cincinnati and I finally made the short road trip to play there this past September with a fellow Golfwrx member. The cool thing about this course is that it was designed and constructed on a shoestring budget of $1.5 million peanuts. A mere pittance when it comes to golf course design and construction. It seems that PB got together with some old buddies and made this course happen.

When I see the initials "PB", two things immediately come to mind; 1. Hitting into that damn huge bunker on PB’s Moorland course in Myrtle Beach and 2. Peanut butter, which by the way my 9th grade history teacher, Mr. Gillespie,  survived on while hiking through Europe one summer and showed us slides every Friday to prove it. PB took a peanut butter budget and serves up better than that as the finished product of Buck Point Golf Club. Many of the holes are serenely scenic and play right alongside Brookville Lake. Buck Point stretches out to 7100 plus yards from the tips, has many rolling hills and plays pretty much wide open on a majority of the holes.

The greens held everything hit into them and rolled extremely fast on a dew swept early September morning.  The fairways were  a little suspect, most likely due to the Midwestern drought and keeping them no so tight to limit the burned out areas that all courses around here have been suffering the past three years.  According to PB Dye, "I built the best golf course on the piece of land that I could and just kept going," said Dye. "It is a very playable design. But there are a couple of par-3s out there that are tougher than yachts braid. Once this thing gets fully-grown in there will be no hay in play. I hate hay. We want to have people find the golf ball and play it. I tried to create as big a playing surface as I could. This is just a good old farm golf course."

 

Finding your ball was fairly easy and I agree, many of the par threes were tough as nails (especially #16), I was never a sailor, so I cannot say how tough a yacht’s braid is. Funny, I cannot ever remember a course being referred to as a "good old farm golf course" as Dye puts it. When you see the tee box yardage/hole layout markers, you’ll quickly get the idea.  So how does an architect cut so many corners with costs? Well, they eat lots of peanut butter instead of organic, chef prepared, catered meals right? Not really. According to PB, "part of the secret of the low development costs were the scaled back construction methods used to build the course. The greens are all topsoil and less than 250,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to form the layout.

 

Dye also brought in his own shapers and equipment from other jobs to piece the construction of the course together." Additonally, they were able to save money by using Rain Bird irrigation heads that were bought for $5 a piece and buying mostly used equipment.  It seems that it was PB’s mission to prove that quality golf can be built for less. In my estimation he truly succeeded here. This is as unpretentious as a golf experience can really be.

 

However, there are a few drawbacks at Buck Point. They desparately could use a quality, correctly sized clubhouse. A double wide trailer with a porch does nothing to attract golfers back a second time or to spend more money on refreshments. The power lines here are visually disturbing on many of the holes, especially on hole number two.  Moving power lines is a tough chore, so we’ll let this one slide! Hole number 14 was really shoehorned in and offers no reward for a lot of risk for a very short par four that you can almost hit anything from 7 iron on up off of the tee. (see pic below) If you look very closely, you can see the stacked concrete on the right. The green is NOT driveable.

The second shot (that is of course if you are actually lucky enough to have one) into a green built upon huge, stacked highway concrete chunks really looks and plays strange. I am being picky though, if this course was closer to Cincinnati, I would surely spend my golf money here on a regular basis. In fact, they have a really cool, and huge, eagle flying around that literally buzzed us a few times on a green and a teebox. There is quite a bit of wildlife to be seen on and around this layout.

PB Dye? The PB could mean peanut butter. Overall PB, you did a damn fine job, especially with the ‘po folks looking hole markers. Pass the Skippy and lets play some farm golf! For more information, visit the Buck point website, www.buckpointgolfclub.com/.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Easter Treats

    January 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    whoah this blog is great i love reading your posts. Stay up the great paintings! You already know, a lot of individuals are looking round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  2. Ed Grinvalds

    July 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Played this P.B. Dye course on July 17, 2009. What a great course that is open to the public. Conditions are excellent and the test from the tips is awesome. There are many stunning visuals of the lake and really just great golf holes. This is a classic lakeside course with lots of variety and reminds you of the “Teeth of The Dog” course that PB’s father built in the Dominican Republic. If there is a better course in the greater Cincinnati area, for asthetics and difficulty,I know I haven’t played it.
    Conditions for the budget that the greenskeeper has are phenomenal. Not Augusta but above average for sure. And the whole design is just a Dye classic. I would say it is the architects best design ever.
    Cons? If you want a low score rather than a complete examination of your skills, you better skip it. There was no beer available but I was told that this would will change in a couple of weeks.
    Pros? Worthy of a play and stay outing as there is a marina within 1/2 mile with a great bar& restaurant and lodging available overlooking the lake and part of the course.

  3. Nash Carr

    December 4, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Gordon,

    I do not believe that it is totally fair to judge most courses on conditioning in the Southwestern Ohio area; in case you have not noticed, there has been a drought here every summer for last three years. Most courses have been substantially damaged and have suffered greatly as a result. Many courses, in the very near future, will spend even less on watering and upkeep with the sluggish economy as people start to spend less $$ playing golf. The course actually played fairly soft when we played. For $40 with a cart, you won’t get Augusta conditioning my friend.

  4. gordon

    December 2, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    when i played the fairways were soooooooo bumpy they were like bad wash boards. is it still that way???? riding in a cart was pure punishment. Plus the first 4 holes were sw to each green. all in all , i thot it was a terrible golf course.

  5. Jason

    November 29, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    My buddy and I played out there for the first time this year just to check it out. I thought the greens fees were very well priced for the condition of the course. It’s not the most well kept course I’ve ever played on but it was in good shape. Many of the holes were very “neat” with downward tee shots and one par 3 right next to the lake that will make you cringe if you tend to fade the ball. Overall I’d say it’s a good course that’s priced right for the play.

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